A long hiatus for the SitCombat shows, coupled with a second delay caused by my pursuing other interests last Thursday, means that this is the first edition of SitCombat in over a month. It will also be one of the last editions, as the two primary competitors over the history of this gimmick will both be concluding their final seasons in the not-too-distant future.
For now, 30 Rock and The Office will continue to do battle (to be joined temporarily by Archer when its season cranks up this week) as they say their respective farewells.
This was SitCombat for January 10, 2013:
30 Rock (NBC) – “Game Over”
Tonight’s Episode: Jack enlists the help of nemesis Devin Banks to get control of Kabletown, Liz tries to conceive a child, and Tracy gets a taste of his own medicine.
Good Stuff: “This is Westchester? I am LOST!” . . . Fertility shots = a euphemism . . . “That’s a series wrap on Leo Spacemen, SUCKERS!!!” . . . The lead role in Tracy’s Harriet Tubman movie is “Harriet…something” . . . The University of Maryland Diamondback called Liz Lemon’s one-woman Frederick Douglass show “Too confusing to be offensive” . . . “Some of the rules may be specific to my time in Vietman” . . . “It’ll work great! Just like Conan and Jay!” . . . Jack yelling DOWN to his dead mother . . . Tracy getting “Tracy’d” by Octavia Spencer . . . “Ok, I don’t know why you had to be a woman.” “Let me worry about that” . . . Loved the “Pool / Poole boy” bit . . . “All we need is DNA. I’ve got a ton of her dad’s” . . . “And I always pictured myself getting double-teamed by two The Rocks” . . . “The only back-stabbing I do now is…well, you know” . . . Tracy trying to be Liz Lemon. “My boyfriend is a pilot or something!” . . . “You popped the lenses out?” “No, they shattered in a urinal!” . . . “More than one person works here!”
Non-good Stuff: Not sure if I buy Jenna being the beta to Kalie’s alpha.
Line of the Night: “If we joined forces, we could become the greatest business power duo since Gregory Linens teamed up with Thomas N’Things.” – Jack, convincing Devon to form a formidable alliance
Overall: This was a slightly-different-than-usual episode structure. After the cold open, the “A” story got the lion’s share of the attention by a wide margin, and many of the characters weren’t even present (Pete most notably). Despite that uncharacteristic imbalance, the execution was perfect. This was a terrific episode from start to finish, and the little bits with the Liz and Tracy storylines all worked quite well. The lack of screentime for other characters came as a direct result of getting Will Arnett more “touches,” and that’s fine by me. Great episode.
The Office (NBC) – “Lice”
Tonight’s Episode: Pam introduces lice to the office but lets someone else get the blame, Dwight attempts to destroy said lice, and Jim continues to pursue his new business interests.
Good Stuff: “No wonder Jim left you!” . . . “If you rent more than four times a year, it just makes sense to buy” . . . “You know, I think these critters migrated from down south” . . . Lice = “Hair lawyers” . . . “You look like a baby who suddenly aged 50 years” . . . “Oh, God…stuck with the widow” . . . “I was kinda feeling good about re-entering the dating pool. Then Kevin asked me out” . . . Meredith took a dump in the shredder on New Year’s . . . “That makes total sense. I’m Kareem. You’re Dr. J.”
Non-good Stuff: Jim is supposed to be a sports expert, but he thinks the Sixers are going to the conference finals? I know they shoot these well in advance, but, come on . . . Couldn’t have cared less about Jim’s lip-biting problem in the cold open . . . I realized about seven minutes into this episode that I honestly have no idea who the manager of the office is at this point . . . The hair-washing scene with Erin and Pete was lame. I really don’t care.
Line of the Night: “Here’s how you do it. You say, ‘What are you gonna do – break up with me?,’ like, as a joke…and then you gain a lot of weight.” – Darryl, explaining his change in relationship status.
Overall: One of the weaker episodes in a while. The in-office stuff was unusually bad. As I’ve said a million times, this show is usually at its best when it keeps the story within the office itself. That wasn’t the case this week, as the lice story seemed over-the-top in a bad way. Also, the Jim portion of the story really didn’t go anywhere. Not a great one. This feels like an episode that would be the first to go if this show had a 20- or 18-episode season. The best parts were Darryl-related.
Final Thoughts: Since the League won last time before the break, we knew we would be guaranteed a new champion. This one wasn’t even close. 30 Rock delivered a show with few weaknesses that was another nice episode as the series finishes up strong. The Office doesn’t have the luxury of a 13-episode run, and this week was an example of a show that wouldn’t make that kind of cut. Treading water. 30 Rock wins handily.
WINNER: 30 Rock (new champion)